Noel Enete
Place of Works
What About...


Before I accepted Jesus, you said that God did not want what I could do. Now that I have accepted Jesus, you say that I should read my Bible and pray. Am I to understand that salvation is by faith but growth in the Christian life is by works?

  1. Earning...
  2. Growing...
  3. Working...

Earning...


God does not want what we can do, because our actions are unable to earn anything for us. At the very best, our actions include a mixture of motives -- some of them bad -- which makes them fall short of God's minimum requirements.

Jesus's actions completely satisfied the requirements of God.

When we believe that Jesus's actions paid for our sins, Jesus earns God's favor for us.

Growing...


Once Jesus has earned God's favor for you, God accepts you in every way a person can be accepted, and makes you a member of His family.

Then as a good parent, He asks you to do things that will help you grow, like reading your Bible or praying. He is not asking you to earn anything. Jesus has already earned it and you are accepted as a family member.

As a good parent, God is lovingly and firmly asking you to grow.

As you try to obey His urgings to grow, realize that neither your successes nor your failures affect His acceptance of you.

You are never accepted on the basis of your behavior. You are accepted based on Christ's behavior and your belief in it.

Working...


Belief and activity accompany every phase of a believer's life.

When a person first believes in the gospel, they interact with God's truth (which involves Bible reading) and accept His gift of life (which involves praying). Notice that salvation includes activity.

When a believer discovers a truth they would like to work on, they might first focus on their faith to see if they really believe the truth. Then they might try and picture what it would look like (in their daily routine) if they were able to perform this truth. They they might venture out and attempt the new behavior, keeping God's acceptance in mind. Notice that sanctification includes faith.

Faith and actions are two sides of the same coin. Sometimes one side needs more attention than the other, but they are closely related to one another.



by Noel Enete . . . www.enete.com . . . noel@enete.com